The GMAC has made it much simpler for the GMAT aspirants to book the GMAT exam date as per their convenience. Unlike other entrance tests, the dates of the GMAT exam are quite flexible. It can be taken throughout the year. You may book a test date even 24 hours before the scheduled time. Test dates are available on all days, except Sundays and a few public holidays. It can be taken five times in a year and can be re-attempted after 16 calendar days. However, the total number of attempts for the GMAT in a lifetime is eight. Before you register for the GMAT, you need to check the availability of seats at the preferred test centre. The GMAT is conducted at 39 test centres spread across 34 cities in India.
Even though test dates are, generally, easily available, it is important that while booking the test you must keep two things in your mind.
- UNIVERSITY DEADLINES — Keep your university deadlines in mind while booking the GMAT test date because these scores need to reach your preferred B-school before or by the application deadline. Hence, while deciding your test date, please be mindful of the time frame and leave enough window for the process to be completed before the deadlines. Ideally, you must take the GMAT at least 5 to 6 months before the deadlines so that there is ample time for writing essays and resumes, and arranging LORs (Letter of Recommendations). These take a significant amount of time; at least a month.
- PREPARATION – Test preparation plays a critical role. There is no point in booking a test date if you are not fully prepared. The objective of taking the GMAT is to secure the score which can get you admission to the B-school of your choice. If you are not fully prepared and do not get the desired score on the GMAT, you will have to retake the test, which will be sheer wastage of time and money. So, prepare yourself well for the test.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE EXAM
You must register for the exam at least two to three months prior to your preferred test date. You can register a maximum of 6 months in advance. You can schedule the exam in any of the following three ways:
- Online: Create your account on mba.com to register and finish the registration process. (Note: This is the most popular way of registration.)
- Phone: Make a call to the GMAT Customer Service for your region (Note: You may be charged an additional service fee of US$10)
- Postal mail: Fill out and send in the GMAT Appointment Scheduling Form. Please ensure that your details & documents reach at least 10 days before your preferred test date
PLANNING TEST DATE
- Plan for the GMAT well in advance keeping in mind your target score on the GMAT and admission deadlines. This will help you choose the right date for the test and will also help you avoid unnecessary rescheduling of the test date later.
- There should be enough time between your test-taking date and the deadlines for various B-schools you intend to apply. You may have to retake the test to improve your scores on the GMAT. Keep enough windows for that too.
- Make sure you take a couple of mock tests before you book the test date. Your scores in the mock tests will help you in deciding the time it will take you to reach your dream score.
REGISTERING FOR THE GMAT
- You may register for the GMAT 6 months to 24 hours before the preferred test date. It is advisable to take the test date as early as possible in order to get the test date and time of your choice.
- If you want to take the test on a specific day and no time slot is available, keep an eye and check the registration page on mba.com regularly. If you are lucky, you may find an available slot after waiting for a few days. This happens when some test-taker reschedules or cancels the exam.
- Make sure your name mentioned at the time of registration matches with your name mentioned in your proof of identity.
- Please ensure that the GMAT test date & test centre you have mentioned while registration is correct.
- Pay for your exam by credit card or debit card, check, or money order. Only credit cards are accepted in India for registration purposes.
- Make sure your passport is valid and is not going to get expired soon. Entry to the exam centre will not be allowed if the passport is not valid.
- Generally, several time slots are available in a day for taking an exam at the test centre. You will find both morning and afternoon slots (if all seats in a particular slot are not taken). Pick a slot according to your comfort. See if you are a morning person or an afternoon person. You would not like to take the test when you feel most sleepy. Also, it is advisable to take at least 4 to 5 mock tests in the same time slot before your actual exam so that you get a hang of taking the test during that time slot. Conditioning of mind is important.
RESCHEDULING AND CANCELLING THE GMAT
You may reschedule or cancel the exam and even change the test centre within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment time by paying a fee. Visit mba.com for checking the latest fee. Select your country to know the pricing regulations. The rescheduling fee or refund in case of cancellation of the test depends on the number of days left before the appointed test date.
Remember that you must have more than 24 hours in order to do so. Otherwise, your entire fee will be forfeited and you will have to pay the full fee in case of rescheduling the test date.
- Test dates are available throughout the year. But, you need to plan the GMAT in advance to get the desired score. Plan your GMAT at least 5 to 6 months before the admission deadlines.
- Look for test centres in or near your area well in advance. There are several test centres available in the metro and other cities. Consider distance, location, and reviews of the test centre. The quality of the test centres matters a lot.
- Go through the registration instructions on mba.com cautiously before or while preparing for the GMAT to ensure that you understand the integrities of the GMAT and other registration guidelines. You would not like to surprise yourself with new information at the last moment. For example, you should have a valid passport at the time of taking the test. If you take an expired passport to the test centre, your entry will be prohibited.
- Research on preferred B-schools before you start prepping up for the GMAT is indispensable. Check the GMAT score eligibility for each school in order to plan your GMAT preparation. Higher GMAT target score implies more time for the preparation.
- Take a couple of mock tests to know where you stand and how much preparation time is needed. This will aid you in deciding the test date.
- Check special scheduling instructions if you have a disability and require any testing accommodations.